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SOCIAL CLIMES

Honoring Ford, with style

March 30, 2004|Booth Moore | Times Staff Writer

It wouldn't have been a Tom Ford party without caviar, champagne and a deluge of pink rose petals falling from the sky and perfuming the crowd. The fashion designer was the focus Sunday night in Beverly Hills when he was honored with the second annual Walk of Style Award. The 300 block of Rodeo Drive was closed off for the event, held under the twinkling stars.

Rita Wilson introduced her friend, evoking his steamy Texas style with images of teenagers making love in the backseats of parked cars on dusty roads. Tom Hanks said, "Tom Ford has not left anyplace. He has just arrived." Gloria Gaynor belted out "I Will Survive" as footage of Ford's last Gucci show played on a big screen in the background.

Hollywood came out in force to welcome Ford home to L.A., where he will be spending more time now that he has left his job designing for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent and is thinking about a future in the movie industry. Robert Graham, who sculpted the 14-foot "Torso" statue that stands at the intersection of Rodeo and Dayton Way and serves as a symbol of the Walk of Style, was one of the first to arrive, with his wife, Anjelica Huston. They were there to see Ford accept a plaque that will be embedded in the sidewalk on Rodeo Drive, next to the one Giorgio Armani received last year.

In accepting the award, Ford called Los Angeles "a filter of style for the world through the mediums of film and fashion." Ford was selected for the honor by a committee of Beverly Hills store and hotel owners from a nomination list submitted by fashion industry insiders.

Later Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher arrived, followed by Heather Graham and Chris Weitz, Angie Harmon, Nia Vardalos, Kate Beckinsale, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. The chic of choice? Ford, of course. On Wilson, his blush feather bolero from this spring's Gucci collection, and on Mischa Barton, his temptress gown with a silver snake wound 'round the front, also Gucci spring.

"Tom is really a star, and he's always going to be a star," said Vincent Boucher, a celebrity stylist. "He will do fine, because he loves Hollywood and Hollywood knows the value of a star."

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